Tomorrow night, the Brooklyn Nets will host the Chicago Bulls in game 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In preparation for this game, let’s take a look at some past game 7’s in the NBA playoffs.
Nets Game 7’s: Overall record: 0-1
Even though the Nets have been in the NBA for nearly 40 years, this will be only the second game 7 in franchise history. The only other game 7 they played was in the 2004 playoffs with Jason Kidd when they lost on the road to Detroit 90-69 in the conference semi-finals. The Pistons went on to win the title that year. The Nets have played in a large handful of win-or-go-home game 5’s in the first round back when the first round was a best-of-3, but those don’t count as game 7’s. Obviously, this will be the first game 7 since the move to Brooklyn and it will be the first time since a Brooklyn team hosted a game 7 since the Dodgers in 1956.
Bulls Game 7’s: Overall record: 3-6
Despite their great seasons with Michael Jordan, the Bulls don’t have a very good track record in game 7’s. Also of note is that Chicago is 3-0 while playing at home, but 0-6 on the road. They will be going for their first ever road game 7 win on Saturday night. Since the Jordan years, the Bulls have only played one game 7, in 2009 when they lost to the Celtics on the road, 109-99.
As we would expect, home teams have a great record in game 7. Home teams have won 6 of the past 7 and 9 of the last 11 game 7’s. However, the Clippers won in Memphis in game 7 of the first round last season. Road teams have been improving recently in game 7. Since 2005, seven road teams have won. Between 1984-2004, a total of only 4 road teams won including a winless streak of 11 seasons between 1984-1994 where home teams won 20 straight game 7’s. Also, although the road team won the first ever game 7 in 1948 (the Philadelphia Warriors beat the St. Louis Bombers), a road team didn’t win again until 20 years later in 1968 when the Celtics beat the Sixers, a streak of 17 games.
In this Nets-Bulls series, both teams have already proven they can win on the road, as Chicago did in game 2 and as Brooklyn did in game 6. These are also two veteran teams and many of the players have played in important playoff games before, so this should be new to no one. Although it is nice and definitely an advantage that the Nets are playing at home, they have no guarantee of winning.